Somalia attack kills five, including deputy minister

A rickshaw is seen near the scene of a suicide explosion after al-Shabaab militia stormed a government building in Mogadishu, Somalia March 23, 2019. (REUTERS)

Five people were killed including a deputy minister on Saturday after Al-Shabaab militants stormed government buildings in Somalia's capital, a witness and a senator told AFP.

"I saw the dead bodies of four people, one of them in police uniform," said witness Abdulahi Mohamed.

Senator Ilyas Ali Hassan named the deceased minister as Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, who was killed separately.

The attack began with twin bombings of the complex housing Somalia's ministries of works and labour, which were then stormed by the Shabaab.

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said the attack ended after police killed four gunmen.

"There were some other casualties including members of the police," he said, without elaborating.

The attack also left at least 11 people wounded, according to Abdukadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin ambulance service in the capital Mogadishu.

Shortly after the assault began, Al-Shabaab issued a statement claiming credit.

Attacks that combine bombings with gunmen have become a speciality of the Al-Qaeda linked group, which is fighting an armed insurrection in Somalia against what it sees as a heretic and foreign influence.

Earlier this month, at least 20 people died in an attack in Mogadishu which saw Al-Shabaab jihadists battling security forces for nearly 24 hours.

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Somalia attack kills five, including deputy minister

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